Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We're not in Kansas anymore

I am fairly sure it was national news yesterday, considering I was getting panicky texts and calls from all over the country, but Texas was hit with some pretty  nasty tornadoes. I believe the last number I heard was 12 confirmed touchdowns, and most of them were in the DFW and surrounding areas. Arlington and Lancaster have been declared disaster areas. In short this was some serious scary weather we had going on all around me.

Now I have lived in tornado country my entire life. As a child in elementary school we did a lot of drills which had us in the hallway ducking and covering. Tornado safety is sort of one of those ingrained responses. We hear the sirens, we check the weather, we crawl into our bathtubs and pull mattresses over our heads, and we are good to go.

I must say though, that it has been a long time since I felt threatened by a tornado. I have seen serious devastation from tornadoes close to home, but by close I mean a good 45 minute drive from where I actually live. Yesterday there was a confirmed touchdown about a mile from my house. If you know anything about a tornado, you know a mile isn't really that far if it is a sizeable funnel.

I was in the office when all of the reports started coming in about Lancaster being ravaged by the first tornado. We started pulling up radar images and saw we were in the path of the storm and I began to worry. I called the husbeast and asked him to run home and put the dog inside in her kennel. Even if the tornadoes didn't come close to us there was baseball sized hail accompanying this storm. Last thing I wanted was my poor dog to get bonked by a killer piece of ice.

He called me to say he was on the way to the house and about two minutes later everyone in my office was made to go take shelter. Normally a shelter is the interior most room in the building on the lowest floor. Basements are preferable, but the first floor will do. You want someplace with no windows or glass. For us it was our little break room, which had no cell reception.

So here I was sitting in my breakroom, waiting for the storm to pass, and all the time wondering if the husbeast had made it home alright and then back to work again. Stupid cell phone and its no reception. I figured though that it would be fine. The funnels were all being reported well away from us. Which of course was about the time that someone with a smartphone came and told us one had set down a mile from my house.

Yea so maybe I was a little panicky at that point. Of course I wasn't the only one. Lots of people in the office were a little freaked out. Mostly though my mother was the most panicked. When I finally got back to my desk and got reception I was flooded with texts and calls from my mom and my brother. My brother and I both live in DFW and he actually lives a lot closer to Arlington where the most damage was done from the storm. As far as my  mom was concerned us being within 50 miles of the storm was too close.

I was more concerned about the husbeast and began texting him. When that didn't work I began calling him. That didn't work either. I kept telling myself that he was just working and he was fine. I had gotten a text message while I was in the breakroom that was him telling me he was almost back to the office. He was fine I was sure. Still I have an over active imagination and it took him almost two hours to finally call me back. His bosses apparently didn't think that it was important for their employees to answer panicked hysterical phone calls from their loved ones amidst a natural disaster.

In the end you couldn't tell there was a tornado a mile from my house. We have had thunder storms do more damage to the property. It looked mostly like a light rain with no significant wind. The verbena in my garden points to signs of possible hail as it is all wonky looking now, but nothing it won't get through. The storms have all passed and me and mine are all well.

We are lucky to be so, and I feel for everyone who was hurt by these crazy storms that passed through us yesterday. I'm just happy I don't need my ruby slippers just yet.


  1. I'm so glad you were spared. I can't imagine having to worry about such things.

  2. It was a little frightening, but at the same time it was a little common. You go through enough tornadoes and it is just something you do. I imagine it can be the same way for people in earthquake areas.